In today’s post, we will see that despite the surge in housebuilding, the supply keeps on reducing and rising in cost. A building firm went bankrupt and the construction of nearly 200 homes for North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) in Tupton has been stopped. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) stated that Lee Rowley, a well-known personality in the building industry, can champion the nation’s small, local builders. The construction of a $65 million project at Salford University has been completed and will soon be opened. The building and construction industry has been slow to adopt advanced technology and participate in digital transformation. How exactly can augmented reality revolutionise the construction industry?
House Building booms, but insufficient supply drives up costs
Latest data reveals the number of new home sites rose 15% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2021.
51,730 dwellings were started in April to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, the increase came after a large decline in construction levels during the Covid pandemic (2020-2021), when housebuilding levels were on pace with the 2008 financial crisis, which hurt housebuilders and the housing market. Net increase in UK homes declined 11% from 2019-2020 to 2021-2020 as construction recovered from the Covid-19 epidemic.
The number of completed homes grew 6% from April, May, and June last year to 44,940. It was 3% higher than in the prior quarter.
Despite an increase in housebuilding, the UK government’s objective of 300,000 new homes per year is still far behind.
The lack of housing stock continues to push up home prices in many areas.
The ONS reported that residential property prices rose 15.5% in July, although economists predict growth to slow in the coming months.
Peak Money’s managing director, Rhys Schofield, said the UK needs to build 340,000 additional houses a year until 2031. The government’s goal is 300,000 a year.
“These latest data fall short, therefore home prices can only go one way. Due to a lack of urgency in housebuilding, many people can’t afford a place to live.”
The price of construction materials in the UK may potentially be hurting housebuilding. ONS: UK construction material prices in July 2022 were 24.1% higher than a year earlier.
Edgar Rayo, chief economist at Finanze, said the statistics show build-cost inflation.
“Soaring building costs due to supply chain difficulties and fuel price hikes continue to strain property developers’ profit margins in the UK.”
“As we follow the housing market imbalance, we still see significant demand, which puts pressure on prices.”
200 Derbyshire homes in danger as construction firm fails
Original Source: 200 more Derbyshire homes at risk as construction firm goes bust
A building firm went bankrupt, leaving council leaders seeking for new contractors to finish hundreds of homes. Robert Woodhead Ltd, which abruptly stopped operating last Thursday (September 15), was contracted to build nearly 200 homes for North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) in Tupton.
The firm was also contracted to develop up to 400 Bolsover Homes for BDC. The Woodhead Group’s construction arm claimed to be Chesterfield Borough Council’s “main contractor’ on its website.
NEDDC formed Northwood Group Ltd. with Woodhead Regeneration Ltd. and loaned half the project’s financing. Councillor Alex Dale and director of growth and assets Matt Broughton remain Northwood directors alongside Leo Robert Woodhead and Christopher Simon Tutin, although the council says the Oak Field’s development is not in jeopardy.
A NEDDC representative said that Robert Woodhead Ltd. built Ankerbold Road’s Oak Fields. Northwood, the council’s joint venture firm, is developing the site. Work is ongoing to determine the entire impact on the project and supply chain before selecting a new lead contractor.
Robert Woodhead Ltd has no other council projects or developments. The municipality supports its joint venture development with a loan secured by the asset, although as the primary contractor, Robert Woodhead Ltd. doesn’t affect the financing arrangements.
Oak Fields is in the early phases of construction and several plots have been reserved, but the authorities promised interested parties that building would continue as planned once a new contractor was chosen. Bolsover leader Councillor Steve Fritchley and executive director of strategy and development Grant Galloway are company directors of Dragonfly Developments Ltd.
BDC lent the company money in August for ‘development purposes,’ but insists the money is still safe. The council quickly took over the Bolsover Homes project, using existing site managers and subcontractors to finish Woodhead’s work.
NEDDC and BDC wouldn’t reveal loan amounts. Robert Woodhead Ltd. constructed Chesterfield’s Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre and was to build ten residences at Middlecroft for CBC.
The authority hasn’t said how the news will affect the scheme financially. Robert Woodhead Ltd. employed 150 individuals and blamed growing costs for its bankruptcy.
The NEDDC representative said, “While contractors defaulting creates problems for our projects, it also affects workers and supply chain businesses.” We know businesses are struggling.
FMB says the new housing minister can win big by supporting local builders
As a recognisable face in the building sector, Lee Rowley can champion small, local house builders, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
FMB CEO Brian Berry remarked, “It’s excellent to see Lee Rowley take on the housing brief after his efforts with the sector as Construction Minister.” The Minister’s first goal should be to boost small, local builders across the UK, reversing their drop from 40% of new houses in the 1980s to 12% today.
Berry stated, “A simpler and faster planning system and local authorities able to work with small, local developers will allow them to build high-quality homes reflective of their local communities, strengthening local economies and opening up job opportunities through vocational paths.”
Salford University’s £65m science block completed
Original Source: Completion for Salford Uni’s £65m science block
The 167,000-square-foot Science, Engineering, and Environment (SEE) Building is part of the Salford Crescent and University District designs.
The four-story structure houses research and teaching labs for physics, electronics, composites, chemical vapour deposition, and other disciplines at Salford.
It also has a wind tunnel, originally at the Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC), high-spec laser facilities, and 154 roof-mounted solar panels.
The £65m project received approval in March 2020, and contractors worked on site during the pandemic. After completion, the facility will welcome students and researchers for the next academic year.
The SEE Building is on Peel Park Campus near the New Adelphi building and the university’s spiritual centre. Before construction, the Horlock and Constantine student housing blocks had been demolished.
The Schools of Computing, Science, and Engineering, the School of the Built Environment, and the School of Environmental Life Sciences have been combined into the School of Science, Engineering, and Environment.
SEE is part of the University of Salford’s masterplan to modernise the campus and develop a new city district to enable future expansion and investment.
It’s part of Salford City Council’s Salford Crescent and University District masterplan, which maps opportunities for 1m sq ft of educational floorspace, 6m sq ft of commercial uses focused on industrial growth sectors, 2m sq ft of public realm, landscaped routes and cycleways, and 2,500 homes and apartments.
The team also included Faithful + Gould, Sheppard Robson, and Arup. Morgan Sindall is also creating the University’s Robotics Innovation Centre.
Shaun Jones, Greater Manchester regional director of Morgan Sindall Construction, said the SEE Building will help future generations and the local area economically.
“We’re thrilled to hand over the new building on schedule. It will house engineering, environmental, and scientific professionals and students. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with the University of Salford, and we look forward to continuing our cooperation at NERIC. “
The director of estates and facilities at the University of Salford remarked, “We’re thrilled to open the new SEE Building.” It’s a smart, sustainable new-build that’s 100% electric.
Because the team adapted each floor to varied needs, the university now has a highly adaptable environment.
The adaptable, all-electric building delivers on the design’s sustainability aims, said Sheppard Robson partner Alex Solk.
“Our design weaves together specialty facilities and nimble working places.” It’s exciting to see the structure take shape.
How can augmented reality transform construction?
Despite its importance to the UK economy, the construction sector has been sluggish to adopt sophisticated technology and digital transformation. In the aftermath of the COVID lockout, the then-prime minister urged the nation to “build, build, build.”
According to reports, it could take years to make up the ground lost through closures, productivity challenges, and lack of modernization. With economic and social upheaval, now is the time to address old concerns and embrace technological transformation.
Industry productivity has been static for decades. Mark Farmer’s 2016 paper Modernise or Die highlighted the industry’s conservatism and reliance on outdated processes.
Missing from the debate are the reasons behind the sluggish adoption of new technologies. Since the emergence of mobile computing, the industry has been limited by the availability of technology with the power and capacity to service our work environment and to “create it properly, first-time.”
Heavy innovation is needed in construction.
Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are designed to fulfil the data demands and computational tasks of most professional users, enabling digital transformation across industries and mobile working for the masses. However, while these tools may allow construction engineers to examine emails and spreadsheets away from the office, they are ill-equipped to transmit complex, large-scale design data.
Until today, mobile devices were unsuitable for construction sites. In fact, computing gear has exacerbated one of our industry’s largest bottlenecks: the requirement to translate complicated 3D design models into thousands of 2D drawings for use in construction. In this approach, hardware limitations have limited an end-to-end 3D process in construction and prevented addressing basic productivity challenges.
Site faults, rework, and 2D model clashes
Recent broad usage of BIM has solved numerous design and coordination challenges. But it doesn’t fix on-site errors, rework, and clashes, which are commonly caused by 2D conversion.
I observed this as a digital construction manager on huge projects across Europe. Because we couldn’t move 3D BIM models to the site before, we had to transform the 3D design into 2D drawings and back into 3D construction, causing delays and inaccuracies. In a 2016 project with J Coffey Construction, I explored a proof of concept for paperless construction without 2D. The 500% improvement in productivity proved that 2D was the problem.
2D isn’t a natural language for humans; we see 3D. Yet experts must analyse 2D designs, conceptualise 3D assets, and create them on-site within construction tolerances. In addition, laser scanners, 360 cameras, and other reality capture systems only show problems after they occur, reinforcing a reactive mindset.
By eliminating 2D bottleneck inaccuracies, decision delays, and on-site rework, construction project costs can be reduced by up to 20%.
Finally, it enables immediate decision-making by arming construction managers with the knowledge they need to build it right the first time.
Construction AR design-build-validate
Here, augmented reality (AR) is changing our industry. AR overlays real-world views with 3D computer-generated images. Unlike virtual reality, which immerses the user in a computer-generated world, augmented reality shows digital text and images on a smartphone, visor, or head-up display.
We were the first to merge AR with mobile computing so users could view hyperscale BIM models in real-time and within construction tolerances. This is “Engineering Grade AR” and is the foundation for HoloSite, the only device to incorporate Engineering Grade AR into a safety standard-compliant hard hat to carry advanced technology to the field.
Engineering Grade AR also changes teams’ mindsets, allowing them to go from reactively repairing problems to proactively preventing them.
Tackling mistakes early provides speedy, low-cost corrective action. Our technology can send 3D information on site with 5mm accuracy, so there are no design deviations, reworks, or clashes.
AR in construction.
Our industry is well aware of its terrible reputation for delivering on time, on budget, and to specification. Many of us have faced the problems of converting complicated 3D models into 2D blueprints and the annoyance of errors and inaccuracies when it’s costly and complex to rectify them.
Technology has also changed industries around us, but mobile hardware restrictions have stopped us from bringing similar benefits to the building site. Today, with many of these limits solved, I expect exponential innovation.
Beyond technology, a move from reactive to proactive thinking is key. The ability to design, create, and evaluate in 3D, along with the ability to access hyperscale BIM models on-site and in real-time, fundamentally transforms the character of construction, making it a more forward-thinking industry. This game-changer unlocks productivity, expands potential, and stops errors. So why not build it right the first time?
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we have discussed that house building is in a surge but the supply keeps on decreasing and increasing its costs, which causes strain for property developers.
A building firm has declared bankruptcy, halting the construction of nearly 200 homes for North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) in Tupton.
Lee Rowley took up the housing brief and was most likely to win the nation’s small, local house builder, according to the Federation of Master Builders.
Salford University’s $65 million project met completion, and the SEE Building is part of the University’s District designs and masterplan that will soon be unveiled.
Augmented Reality is changing the industry. Instead of being reactive, be proactive. The capacity to plan, build, and assess in 3D and access hyperscale BIM models on-site and in real-time transforms construction into a forward-thinking industry. This game-changer increases productivity, expands potential, and stops errors.